An-Yneaith is the primary human nation within D'hennex, from which most other human territories split and formed. Currently ruled by King Irai Maoilirian, An-Yneaith is beset by enemies all around, and struggles to regain its lost lands.
The southern land started out as a barbaric place, with warring tribes, similar to what it is today except more nomadic than feudal. Amongst the humans were also powerful undead knights and wizards, many of whom began to take their own small kingdoms with their power.
One tribe, the tribe of the Emerald Dragon, rose to power under the leadership of Chieftain Anrai Brugh, who was a charismatic and powerful man. Brugh united several other tribes under his banner and gathered a host of powered warriors, securing for himself a large domain, expanding it through diplomacy when possible and through violence when diplomacy failed. Eventually, Brugh drove the undead lords into the southern marshes and united the continent under his rule, declaring himself King of An-Yneaith, an old southern word that translates into Emerald Dragon, to reflect his tribal heritage.
The southern continent used to be known simply as An-Yneaith, after the kingdom that united the entire land. The elves had their own name for the land, but they stayed in their forests and generally let the humans have their fun. The southern part of the continent has always been marshlands though, and difficult to establish cities and castles as are common throughout northern An-Yneaith, and as such was generally left unoccupied by human and elven forces, instead being left to the undead lords that had fled after Brugh's rise to power.
Many, many generations passed, with the Emerald Dragon continuing to fly over most of the continent, although several tribes that lived near the borders of the original An-Yneaith territory spoke of secession or rebellion. These quarrels disappeared, though, when the undead lords of the southern marshes suddenly marched upon the human lands, a host of skeletons and zombies trampling over the unprepared border tribes. The current king, Saoidhe Brugh Ain, raised a host of warriors and managed to drive the undead back into the marshes, but this time he sought to destroy them once and for all, rather than allowing them to simply escape as they had generations ago.
The Army of An-Yneaith marched through the marshes, finding nothing for miles, until a black tower became visible in the distance. Assuming this to be the stronghold of the undead (in reality, it was merely one of five such strongholds; this one was controlled by a powerful undead knight that called itself Kalar Baen), King Ain sent his army against the tower, determined to crush it into nothingness.
Instead, a swarm of undead rose from the surrounding lands, annihilating the Emerald Dragon soldiers. King Ain himself managed to escape, sending pleas for help by magic to faraway lands, as he feared Kalar Baen's forces would move again northward -- which they soon did, crushing the nearly defenseless humans.
Alaris answered by unloading a transport of automatons, led by three Mechanikkars -- a class similar to the prison Overseers of today, with massive control of the automaton forces of the Alaran military. With the help of these Mechanikkars, King Ain was able to fend off Kalar Baen's forces, but when another of the undead lords -- Kalar Rythor, an ancient lich-king -- joined Kalar Baen's forces, the war ground to a stalemate, and eventually both human and undead forces simply withdrew into their respective kingdoms.
Although the Mechanikkars and their forces had been decimated -- the southern marshes were, and are now currently, littered with machinery and automaton junk -- they had orders from Alaris to attempt to subjugate An-Yneaith, that Alaris might take the vast natural resources available to the land. The Mechanikkars had not counted on the magical prowess of King Ain's advisors, however, and combined with help from several elven detachments -- as the automatons had marched into the forests as well as through the plains and hills of the human lands -- King Ain was able to destroy the automaton force and send the Mechanikkars fleeing back across the sea. However, King Ain was mortally wounded in a battle with the Mechanikkars themselves -- powerful psions all -- and he passed away within the month, despite the administrations provided by both wizard advisors and tribal shaman.
Left in disarray, as King Ain had no clear successor -- he had never married -- the kingdom was plunged into turmoil, as several tribes immediately broke free, disappointed in the failure of An-Yneaith forces to protect them from the undead and determined to create their own defenses, eventually forming into feudal territories that warred with one another. The remnants of An-Yneaith itself retained several still-functional automatons, and eventually the advisors cracked the locks and protections around them and found themselves able to command the machines, which is likely the only reason An-Yneaith itself still stands today. Not long after stabilization, An-Yneaith discontinued its use of the automatons, shunting them to the studies of the Sidhe wizards in the north, as most of the populace is extremely hateful of the technology.
Geography and Climate
An-Yneaith is a temperate, mostly flat region, with low hills and sparse forests dotting the plains. The weather is often cool and pleasant, although the northern areas of the country, namely in the fiefdom of Ir-Annyr, suffer from extremely hot summers and generally warm weather year round. The southern boundary of the region is the no-man's land buffering An-Yneaith and Drovinia, although portions of the border lie along the edges of Fel Nobel, the Demosthene Ascendancy, and the Jungles of Ka. To the west lies the aptly named Westphalia. To the east is ocean, and to the north is the Opil Strait, across which Kallinstrate lies.
An-Yneaith is a monarchy divided into smaller fiefdoms, several of which have split off to form independent nations. The High King is the King of the fiefdom of An-Yneaith -- which lies through the center and west parts of the nation, and is the homeland of the Brugh tribe -- and rules the nation as a whole, taking support in the form of troops and crops from his vassals. He is supported by a large court of nobles and advisors. Only two major fiefdoms aside from An-Yneaith still remain under the banner of the Emerald Dragon -- An-Maoil and Ir-Annyr. Ir-Annyr is the northern fiefdom, and is the second largest of the three. It is the ancient home of the Annyr tribe, and is governed by Lord Kyrah Annyr. The smallest fiefdom is the southeastern land of An-Maoil, home of the Maoilirian tribe and the Cellan tribe, and is ruled by Lord Maygre Cellan. Each Lord swears fealty to the King of An-Yneaith (currently Irai Maoilirian) but the loyalty is hardly unswerving in many cases. Each Lord also holds his own court and is allowed to enact his own laws, although An-Yneaith may at any time overrule a lesser fiefdom's laws.
The government of An-Yneaith has introduced a somewhat stable coin of the realm, a small gold coin known as a scale. Half-scales are silver pieces of the same general shape and size, and larger gold pieces, known as wings, are worth ten scales, in general. Despite this introduction of official currency, however, many villages still use barter systems or local currency, ranging from clay tablets (called shells) in Annyri areas to small copper rods (called staves) in Maoil and Cellan regions.
The An-Yneaith religion is not very prominent, as most of the nation's more religious populace have emigrated to Westphalia. The temples of the An-Yneaith goddess, Ylleanaghe, are still important sites despite the lack of a strong church, as communities often have their own pastors without the need for an overarching religious hierarchy.
Ylleanaghe herself is a nature goddess, believed to be mother of the world as well as the world itself. She has several aspects: Ylleanaghe is the mother figure, who grants fertility and health; Ayha is the gender-neutral aspect of intelligence and magical power; and Lweyaghe is the daughter figure, who embraces battle and high spirits.
Additionally, folklore and superstition are common amongst citizens of An-Yneaith. Belief in fairies and supernatural creatures is deeply rooted within the An-Yneaith consciousness, perhaps in part due to the fact that many folk tales are based on creatures known to actually exist in remote areas.
Population and Major Cities
Approximately 27 million people live in An-Yneaith. The racial makeup is heavily biased toward humans, with a significant demihuman minority; genders are more evenly balanced, with slightly more females than males.
At least half of the population of An-Yneaith possesses significant powers (up to 1,000 PL) in either Ki or Physical energy. About ten percent of the population, mainly male Annyri, practice magic to significant ends. A very small number of female Annyri have developed very minor psionic powers alongside magical abilities; these Annyri have so far been found only amongst members of the Seleighe Sidhe who deal with captured Alaran automata.
Civilization is feudal; castles and supporting towns and hamlets are the main manner of habitation.
Emyr is the capital city of An-Yneaith, located in the center of the An-Yneaith fiefdom. Lesser rivers pass through the city, dividing it into three sections with a small harbor of sorts in the center. An island within this harbor houses the Emerald Citadel, where the High King holds court. It is rumored that, with the ascension of a Maoilirian to the throne, much of the old court has been replaced with agents of the Sluagh An-Sidhe. Regardless of replacements within the court, the city is still protected by the Fymori Altus, as it has been since its conception.
Emyr is centered on the Emerald Citadel, a massive castle that houses the high courts of the land, but numerous lesser castles dot the surrounding areas, and, while the city proper is contained within a high wall that circles the Citadel and its surrounding shops and residences, many of the poorer citizens of An-Yneaith flock to the city. These immigrants have created a community outside of the city walls, made up of poorly-constructed shacks and tattered tents and lean-tos. While the Fymori Altus and the Emerald Army keep order within the walls, only the Fymori Altus bother with trying to keep order in the shantytown that surrounds Emyr.
Three major roads leave Emyr, each through a large gate in the city walls. One travels north, to Annyra. The second travels south, to Maoil and Cyrr. The third travels northwest, toward Vi Castis in Westphalia. The Castis Road, despite the Vi Castis mountain range dividing the two nations, is fairly heavily traveled, both by pilgrims who seek religious sites in Westphalia and merchants who wish to trade wares between the two nations. Each of the three major roads is stationed by small garrisons of Trolls, with the garrisons positioned generally a day's walk from one another. A fourth road once led southwest, through areas now occupied by Fel Nobel, the Ascendancy, and Rangoukai, but the road is, for the most part, unused, although many of the garrisons are still occupied.
The people of Emyr dress practically, not caring for ornamentation. Browns are always in style in Emyr, even for the nobles, although many higher class citizens and members of the nobility also have at least a few outfits in white and green, the colors of An-Yneaith. Clothing is, for the most part, drab, although the craftsmanship is quite exquisite, as many seamstresses and tailors ply their trade in Emyr, thanks to the nearby plains and the abundance of sheep.
Emyr and its outlying villages are home to about 4 million people, most of whom are human Brugh.
Annyra is the throne city of Ir-Annyr. Located in the north of the kingdom, close to both the strait to Kallinstrate and the Alaran Outpost, Annyra holds the central academy of the Seleighe Sidhe, a group of wizard-warriors and philosopher-bards who wield massive powers over magical manipulation, especially dealing with illusions and presence. Annyra also contains the only "factory" in An-Yneaith, where most of the Alaran automata are held, to be studied by select members of the Seleighe Sidhe.
Annyra, and other Annyri cities and villages, provide a sharp contrast to most of the rest of An-Yneaith. Rather than drab stone buildings and brown clothing, the Annyri seek to decorate their ownings and themselves as much as possible. Brilliantly-dyed cloth features prominently in almost all Annyri outfits, with clothing thin and loose, both to allow for comfort in the heat of northern An-Yneaith and to provide a visual appeal to onlookers, as most Annyri outfits are adorned with long, flowing ribbons or very loose sleeves that catch in the winds that commonly sweep through the cities. Buildings are covered in thinly-hammered gold and silver mined from the Vi Castis mountains, or covered in beautiful shells and starfish in the coastal towns.
While Emyr focuses on livestock and grains, Annyra provides bounties from the seas, as many Annyri are skilled sailors and fishermen. Goods are sent south along the Annyri Road to Emyr, or shipped along the Opil Strait to Cressia and Savion. Dyes and paints are commonly shipped along with fish, and the Annyri are known for their artistic talents.
The Annyri focus on the sea and on art are both expressions of the innate sense of curiosity that most Annyri are gripped by, and this curiosity also led to developments in both the natural sciences and in magic. Annyra contains within it three notable landmarks: the Golden Monastery and Golden Pavillion, which serve as the royal residence and court; the Bazaar, where traders from Westphalia, Kallinstrate, and An-Yneaith compete to sell the most beautiful pieces of artwork; and Tower of Ages, a fanciful name for both the Annyri library and archives and the Seleighe Sidhe's first academy. Despite its name, the Tower of Ages is a large complex of several structures, some of which are open to the public, while others are restricted to members of the Seleighe Sidhe. The Annyri curiosity is perhaps best exhibited by the dedication to learning undertaken by the Sidhe within their complex.
To the east of Annyra is the Alaran Outpost, which is guarded by Alaran automatons and a small group of Seleighe Sidhe, who eagerly picked up the duty of providing An-Yneaithan presence when the Fymori Altus refused to protect a foreign holding.
Annyra and its outlying villages are home to about 3 million people, most of whom are human Annyri.
Home of the Maoilirian tribe, this "city" is little more than a crumbling castle and a small hamlet these days. The focus of the Maoilirians shifted to Emyr once King Irai became High King, and the family's home city has suffered as a result. However, the central guilds of the Sluagh An-Sidhe still work within this city.
Maoil resembles Emyr in many ways; barring the absence of the Emerald Citadel itself and the rivers that divide Maoil's northern sister city, Maoil is a copy of Emyr, with a central castle and several smaller castles rising above the smaller buildings and shacks of the populace.
The Maoilirian Castle is empty at present, as the Maoilirian liege is actually the High King of An-Yneaith, King Irai Maoilirian. When other families hold the throne, however, the castle serves as the residence for the Maoilirian royal family.
Near the Maoilirian Castle is the headquarters of the Sluagh An-Sidhe, who present a professional front as a mere information and connection network. The Sluagh An-Sidhe do, in fact, provide much of the service one would expect from a modern post office, sending letters to stations in other cities via either rider or magic, but this is a mask of the real activities of the guild. Many buildings throughout Maoil are actually homes to cells of Sluagh An-Sidhe agents, who spread throughout the rest of An-Yneaith to gather information and disseminate it to whoever pays the highest fees.
The Fymori Altus provide a strong presence in Maoil, as An-Maoil was the first major group to join with the Brugh clan, despite the distrust between the two family guilds.
Maoil and its outlying villages are home to about 1 million people, most of whom are human Maoilirians.
Cyrr is the home village of the Cellan tribe and the focal point of the Mori Cryllaghe, the sadistic berserker fanatics for which the Cellans are infamous. Cyrr has grown recently, since the Cellan tribe has managed to gain control of much of An-Maol thanks to the familial shift to Emyr; Drovinian attacks, however, and conflicts with Fel Nobel and the Demosthene Ascendancy continue to keep the city small thanks to a lack of immigration, despite the blossoming power of the Cellans.
While it was once nothing more than a temporary nomad's camp, Cyrr has begun to resemble the cities of northern An-Yneaith, with actual structures having sprung into being. Now a real city, Cyrr is the seat of the Cellan lord and the ruler of An-Maoil, Lord Maygre Cellan. Cyrr is also home to the first attempt at an official training grounds for the Mori Cryllaghe. So far, the attempt has been a complete failure, as the Redcaps prefer their trials by fire.
Personal property must be watched closely in Cyrr; many inhabitants still do not see the real value of "ownership" and simply take what they like, although a barter system does exist for real trade, and the coin of the realm is accepted by most merchants.
Cyrr and its surrounding nomad-camps are home to about 500,000 people, most of whom are demihuman Cellans.
The current line of Kings, the Maoilirians, came to power in the flurry of secession and warfare after King Ain's death. King Irai is seen as a weaker ruler than past kings, as he has not yet attempted to reclaim lost territories, but the fact that his advisors have not simply begun to call the shots speaks to some subtlety in King Irai's person. King Irai has not yet born a child, and as he is nearing middle age his family supporters grow worried while political enemies such as the Brugh and Cellan families, each of which laid claim to the throne during the upset after King Ain's death, plot to take over.
Lord Maygre Cellan, ruler of An-Maoil, is desirous of the throne, but would actually prefer to see King Irai remain in power; while Irai rules the nation, Lord Cellan is free to control An-Maoil, rather than allowing the Maoil family to control the southern reaches of An-Yneaith.
Lord-General Garrick Brugh, the prominent Brugh aspirant to the throne, is also the commander of the Emerald Army, and would have most of the army's support if he became the next king. While his ties with the Fymori Altus have so far stayed his hand from rash actions, a military coup is something of a possibility if King Irai does not respond admirably to recent troubles with wanderers from Ka, incursions from Drovinia, and bizarre cults rising amongst the populace.
Lord Kyrah Annyr, like all Annyri lords before him, shows no interest in taking the throne. Ir-Annyr appears quite content with allowing itself to be ruled by other families, so long as they are allowed to maintain their lifestyle, especially concerning the studies of the Seleighe Sidhe.
There are four major families in An-Yneaith. Many smaller tribes claim to be of a particular major family, despite not necessarily having direct blood relations to the family in question. A character's last name does not have to be Brugh, for example, for that character to be considered part of the Brugh.
Brugh (An-Yneaith): Warriors and leaders who begat the first High King of An-Yneaith; most of the Fymori Altus belong to the Brugh tribe.
Annyr (Ir-Annyr): Long line of mystics, seers, artists, and sailors; most of the Seleighe Sidhe belong to the Annyr tribe.
Maoilirian (An-Maoil): Diplomats and merchants; most of the Sluagh An-Sidhe belong to the Maoilirian tribe.
Cellan (An-Maoil): Berserker warriors held under Maoilirian rule until recently; most of the Mori Cryllaghe belong to the Cellan tribe.
An-Yneaith conflicts with just about every other nation in D'hennex. The elves are hostile toward An-Yneaith emissaries and forces, though their isolationist tendencies have ground the conflict between elf and human to a halt. The Drovinian Reaches are a constant source of strife, as undead and necrotechnical creations skirmish with border forces. The demonic territory of Fel Nobel and seceeded territories such as the Demosthene Ascendancy and Kallinstrate are also concerns to An-Yneaith. Kallinstrate seems especially worrisome to the King of An-Yneaith, given its proximity and military strength, and political agendas are carried through history texts that differ greatly from those in Kallinstrate concerning the formation of that territory. Recent happenings within the Jungles of Ka have led many to call for a crusade against the "evil" lands to the southwest, although no official support of such action has yet surfaced. Diplomatic relations between An-Yneaith and Westphalia have been much smoother than those between An-Yneaith and its other former territories, perhaps due to the religious ties between these two nations.
Guilds and Groups
Each major family has created a guild or group of sorts, although these groups cross family and fiefdom. If you would like to play a character who is a member of one of these groups, please contact Tiryst to discuss your character concept before applying.
The Fymori Altus, or "Trolls" are they are colloquially known in Common (after the mystical, nearly-impervious Trolls of An-Yneaith folklore), are massive warriors who stand guard over the Emerald Citadel in Emyr and the many temples and holy sites scattered throughout An-Yneaith. The Trolls are devout defenders of both civil and religious places and persons, and hold true to chivalrous codes of honor set down by their founder, Anrai Brugh himself. Trolls tend to focus on Ki or Physical power, although a rare few are capable of minor cantrips, and their great mauls and tower shields are symbols known throughout An-Yneaith.
The Seleighe Sidhe, or "Sidhe" (pronounced shee), are wizard-warriors who value knowledge and tradition over all else. The Sidhe possess great magics, especially in illusions and the ability to enhance their own presence and aura. Most of the Sidhe are possessed of both Physical and Magical powers, and all are trained in the use of swords. The Sidhe are also the ones who study captured Alaran tech and Drovinian necrological constructs. Their unswerving loyalty to the Annyr tribe causes some to question their true goals, but given the open concord they have with the Trolls, most citizens of An-Yneaith see the Sidhe as valuable allies for the nation as a whole.
The Sluagh An-Sidhe, or "Sluagh" (sloo-ah), are spies and assassins, despised by those who know of them at all. Created by the Maoilirians to control the Cellans from the inside, the Sluagh have spread throughout An-Yneaith (and possibly into other D'hennexian lands) to learn secrets whispered by enemies of the Maoilirians and to eliminate potential threats before they are fully realized. The Sluagh and the Trolls are overall neutral toward one another -- spies are generally seen by Trolls as necessary, but assassins are viewed with contempt -- but the Sidhe have employed the Sluagh to many useful ends in gathering knowledge from places inaccessible to most.
The Mori Cryllaghe, or "Redcaps", got their name from their trademark bloodstained caps and fur. Made up mainly of demihuman Cellans, the Redcaps are ferocious warriors who bathe their heads in the blood of their enemies. Demihuman Redcaps dye their fur red with enemy blood; human Redcaps tend to bring cloth caps which they soak in the blood to mimic the dyed fur of their fellows. The Redcaps are disliked by most of the populace of An-Yneaith, but seen as valuable as long as their battlelust is directed toward southern enemies of the nation.
Additionally, An-Yneaith supports a standing army known as the Emerald Army, and several provisions for irregular musterings. The Emerald Army consists of high-powered ki warriors well-trained in the use of sword, shield, spear, and bow. Most landholders in An-Yneaith and its fiefdoms are pledged to sending any personal troops to bolster the ranks of the standing army if the King demands it.